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What’s in your basket?

Part 1

Let’s face it, going to supermarkets is so last year. Or even SO 2019. Because as soon as Covid hit, everything changed. If you’re still living in 2019, you’ll also have noticed how many products you see screaming at you from the supermarket shelves that really aren’t adding anything to your health. They tend to be wrapped in colourful packaging, and promise things like “pleasure you can’t measure”, and are placed just as you’re checking out so that you get spontaneous and throw it in. When I cruised around a supermarket recently (yes, so 2019, but important as we like to see what’s happening with the offline dinosaurs too!), I could see all kinds of unhealthy things sneaking into people’s baskets – sodas (it’s basically water + sugar + colours and flavours + plastic, I mean what a combo!), cookies (fine for now and then, but not every day), loads of processed meats and foods (do you know what’s in those?!!) – and it made me think about the things that SHOULD be in our baskets, and perhaps aren’t yet a priority! So here’s my (not exhaustive, but basic) short list! I’m starting with veggies because a few years ago I listened to this podcast with Tim Spector who says when eating for health, just start by including 30 different plants in your diet per week. 

Heard about the classic Millenial injury? It’s a cut on the palm from opening an avocado for their instagram ready avo on toast. We can laugh, but the millenials were onto something because avocados are a great source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Try them on toast (with some toasted seeds or our cricket snacks on top for crunch), make a guac (with healthy-ish crisps or even better, raw veggies like carrots & cucumbers), smoothies, or simply enjoy them just on their own with a touch of salt. Yum.  Proud moment: Kenya is currently the third-largest producer of avocados globally. We source our avocados locally from suppliers such as AAA and Farm Fresh who grow export-quality avocados. 

Get them here

We’re also BIG fans of  Soft fruits. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries and more soft fruit are super delish just on their own. Try a handful for a mid morning snack together with some nuts. These nutrient-dense little bombs of goodness are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kenya is an important producer of soft fruits in Laikipia and around Lake Naivasha. All ours are all Global GAP certified, which means that the product is of export quality and does not contain traces of chemicals that are banned in the EU. 

You’ve heard the expression, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, and we think it’s quite right: apples are super healthy fruits you could enjoy on their own as a snack, as a dessert, in a salad, bake them, make apple sauce, or enjoy them as a dip! On Greenspoon, we have South African red and Granny Smith green apples, ​​Turkish Pink Lady red Apples, and Crisp red apples. They are all grown sustainably and consciously. Get them here.

Go Bananas for bananas; because they come with their own handy packaging, and are a brilliantly filling, nutritious snack. We always have a few on the go, as they are ideal to give the kids. Try them dipped in peanut butter for a more calorific snack, or dessert. They are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals, supporting digestive health, and heart health, and are a great addition to your diet. Our bananas are grown in ​​Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Kisii and Nyamira to name a few. We have sweet bananas, plantains and matoke

Now we know that you might associate grapes with wine, but there are the raw ones that can be enjoyed also as a snack. Red grapes are packed with vitamins C and K, Potassium, and antioxidants which all help support skin, bone, and heart health. You can enjoy eating grapes on their own but they can make great frozen snacks on hot days, add flavor and nutrition to dishes, and a pop of color too! Grape farming is not as widespread as other fruits and vegetables in Kenya, however, farmers in Meru are investing in grape farming. A large percentage of the grapes consumed in Kenya are imported from South Africa. Now onto the good stuff: red wine comes from red grapes and has numerous health benefits because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-regulating effects. Studies (the ones we like) show that red wine boosts gut and cardiovascular health, boosts memory and cognitive functioning, regulates blood sugar and fights off viruses by boosting your microbiome.

Lucky for you, we have quite the selection of red wines, shop here!

The gourd like veggie butternut is a fiber-rich vegetable and a great source of essential vitamins like A & C, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants. Butternut is super versatile: roast it, enjoy it as a soup, or add it to salads! If you’re feeling really jazzy, you can also make butternut into noodles! It’s another one of those brilliant veggies that can help improve your gut health, reduce chronic disease risk, support eye & bone health, and aid with weight loss and management. Butternut is popular amongst Kenyan farmers, the popular varieties being Waltham and Atlas F1. You can get butternut on our website. If you love ready-made food, we have Butternut Squash & Sage Ravioli from The Fat Italian, Butternut soup from The Food Fairy, and baby food from Little Qwean!

My grandmother always said “Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Supper like a Pauper”. And we frequently had soup for supper which is a great way to live. They are obviously particularly popular during cold weather, providing all the nutritional goodness that comes from a variety of vegetables that go into making them, but also a warm hug of a meal in the evenings. The most popular soups include bone broth-based soups, tomato soup, and chicken noodle soup. We have ready-made soups, handmade with love from The Fat Italian and Peppertree, however, if you love making your soups, you can shop for fresh, organic veggies and beef & goat bones on our website!

Did you know cherry tomatoes should really be thought of as a fruit since they come from a flower? These deliciously delightful tomatoes full of flavor can be snacked on as it is, you could use them in salads or toasts, as a pizza topping, in pasta, or anything else you could think of! A 1/2 cup of whole cherry tomatoes contains vitamins A, C & E, Iron, and Potassium. Cherry tomatoes have numerous health benefits like reducing the risk of specific types of cancer, including prostate, boosting bone and heart health! We source our cherry tomatoes from Freshly, Agrilift, Evergreen, VP Foods, AAA growers, and Tamalu. Our suppliers grow these tomatoes using environmentally friendly practices to ensure they are safe to eat! 

Beetroots are special, they’re one of very few fruits or vegetables that have that deep red-purple color, which provides a different set of nutrients and antioxidants than you’ll get from the produce of other colors”, says registered dietitian Camille Skoda, RD. You should definitely get this delightfully purple pink veggie into your diet as much as possible! get their color from betalains, a type of natural plant pigment that provides a health boost! Betalains contain antioxidants that lower the risk of cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties. Beets are also high in fiber which can help lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy weight, nitrates that help improve athletic performance and brain function, and vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. You can enjoy beets in soups, as a dip, as a juice, and as chips, to name a few. Beetroot farming has become popular in Kenya, with the major producing counties being Nakuru, Kiambu and Tharaka Nithi. 

An easy way of consuming beetroot is by turning it into juice. Drinking beetroot juice will help lower your blood pressure, aid in weight loss, help the body get rid of toxins, and improve your digestive health. To make beet juice, you will need a blender, a sieve or strainer, and beetroots. You can make it taste better by adding other fruits like pineapple or apples and adding a kick to it by using ginger. We source our beets from Forest Foods, we also have certified organic beets from ecoscapes! Shop them here. You can snack on Bonika beet crisps or Kariga Farm dried beet crisps

Get the greens! Spinach and Sukuma are one of the most nutritious, leafy greens you can get! They also taste great and are super versatile. You can add them to soups, stews, and stir-frys, use them in leafy salads, add them to smoothies or juice them to make a green detox juice! Spinach boosts hydration, curbs appetite, cuts the risk of iron deficiency anemia, and strengthens the immune system. Sukuma aids in digestion, keeps your liver healthy, lowers cholesterol, and hydrates your skin to name a few. The health benefits of leafy greens are numerous, it is impossible to exhaust them. Spinach and Sukuma are grown all over the country! We source freshly harvested spinach from Mlango farm, baby spinach from AAA, VP foods, Mlango farm, and Ecoscapes. Our sukuma wiki comes from Mlango Farm. 

From stuffed sweet potatoes to baked, having them as soups or as crisps to snack on, there are an unlimited number of ways to enjoy this superfood that has numerous health benefits, and on top of that, they are super delicious! Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables grown worldwide and come in different sizes and colors. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also high in antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage and chronic disease. In Kenya, sweet potatoes are grown in Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Rachuonyo Kisii and Kirinyaga counties. You can shop Meru American Sweet Potatoes, Kilimohai Organic Orange Sweet Potatoes, Local Sweet Potatoes, or Molly Farm Organic American Sweet Potatoes on our website! 

When you eat meat, make it the very best! Our free-range chicken has much more nutrient density than the standard cage raised because “free-range” refers to a method of farming where animals can roam freely outdoors rather than being caged for 24 hours a day. Free-range chickens are healthy because they get to exercise, live in a healthy environment, and most importantly get a nutrient-based diet that is healthier, fresher, and less processed. A chicken breast from free-range chicken can supply our bodies with more than 50% of the body’s daily protein needs. 1 breast (113g) has 140 calories.  Chicken contains essential vitamins and minerals, anti-cancer properties, a good source of protein, and so much more! Our chicken suppliers who practice free-range chicken farming include Ololo, Ithanji, and Meadow Organic Farms.

Fish is one of the most delicious ways you can get high protein meat packed with vitamins A, E, and D, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and magnesium! Try Dorado fillet steamed, poached, put in a pie or fried as traditional fish n chips! We get our Dorado fillets from Kentuna, who offer the finest quality, freshly packed, Kenyan seafood and support Kenyan coastal fishers and sustainable fishing practices. Dorado are found in open water and also near the coast. 

Fish is one of the most delicious ways you can get high protein meat packed with vitamins A, E, and D, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and magnesium! Try Dorado fillet steamed, poached, put in a pie or fried as traditional fish n chips! We get our Dorado fillets from Kentuna, who offer the finest quality, freshly packed, Kenyan seafood and support Kenyan coastal fishers and sustainable fishing practices. Dorado are found in open water and also near the coast. 

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